Nonfiction Books for LDS Readers

By nonfiction cryptozoology book author Jonathan David Whitcomb

I suggest one or more of the following three paperbacks for LDS readers (even though I did not write them especially with Mormons in mind) and for those not of our faith:

  1. Searching for Ropens and Finding God – fourth edition
  2. Live Pterosaurs in America – third edition
  3. Modern Pterosaurs – this first edition may soon be revised

three cryptozoology books by Mormon author Jonathan Whitcomb

Three revolutionary nonfictions by LDS author Jonathan Whitcomb

Searching for Ropens and Finding God – fourth edition

This is the best book of the three for the reader who has little or no previous knowledge of living-pterosaur investigations, who might be skeptical at first glance, and who nevertheless could become interested enough to take on the “Bible of modern pterosaurs,” 360 pages that include the following:

  • Christian men searching remote jungles for large non-extinct “pterodactyls”
  • Many eyewitness sighting reports from around the world
  • Comparing sightings and reasoning about various degrees of credibility
  • Why the absolute extinction of all pterosaur species is practically impossible
  • How modern pterosaurs are most likely to use intrinsic bioluminescence
  • Why Bible-believing explorers risked their lives and reputations in expeditions
  • How non-extinct pterosaurs relate to old legends of fire-breathing dragons
  • And much more

The following is part of an Amazon reader review:

If you’re interested in cryptozoology and wonder if dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures exist today, this is an excellent book for you to read. I found it to be a fascinating read.


Live Pterosaurs in America – third edition

This book could be ideal for the LDS or non-LDS reader who fits one of these:

  • Has already read something about modern-pterosaur research
  • Knows somebody who has seen an apparent pterosaur in the USA
  • Would like to learn about living pterosaurs but not for 300+ pages


Modern Pterosaurs – published in 2017

This nonfiction cryptozoology book differs from the other two in that the main point is not eyewitness testimonies but an old photograph. “Ptp” shows six apparent Civil War soldiers standing near what seems to be a huge dead pterosaur. Nevertheless, eyewitness reports, including some accounts not in the other two books, are used as an introduction.

This could be ideal for the nonfiction reader who will consider eyewitness testimonies but who really wants something more, some kind of evidence more tangible.

At 116 pages, this living-pterosaur book is the smallest of the three: an easy read. The suggested retail price is only $9.40.



Pterosaur in an old photograph

. . . the old photograph that is now called “Ptp,” long known by many cryptozoologists and by those fascinated by the paranormal.


Sightings of living pterosaurs

Let’s examine types of sightings of potential pterosaurs and a small number of the more-important eyewitness encounters. The three types include . . .


Pterosaur bioluminescence

For days, Cliff Paiva, a physicist living in California, analyzed the video footage: two lights that Paul Nation (of Texas) recorded in Papua New Guinea, late in 2006. Whatever the lights were, they were not airplanes, meteors, car headlights, flashlights, or camera artifacts.


Nonfiction books for LDS readers (Mormons)

Before getting into the differences between these cryptozoology books, let me be clear: Not one of them was written entirely for an LDS audience. . . . In short, [Searching for Ropens and Finding God] can be enjoyed by many readers, except for some atheists who are sometimes vocal to support their atheism.


Book about living pterosaurs

It was getting dark but there was plenty of light in the sky when we saw what we believe to be a pterodactyle. The wingspan seemed to be about 25’ to 30’ ft wide.


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Modern Pterosaurs

Review written by the author of the book Modern Pterosaurs: Jonathan Whitcomb

The point of this nonfiction is in the old photograph that is now called “Ptp,” long known by many cryptozoologists and by those fascinated by the paranormal. Consider the following few quotations:

From Chapter One

The native guide was ahead of Duane Hodgkinson and his army buddy when the two soldiers were startled by what they at first assumed was a bird. It took off with a run to get airborne, on the far side of the clearing, only about 100 feet away. Then they noticed how big it was. . . .

[We saw] a pterodactyl take off from the ground and then circle back overhead and to the side, giving us a perfect side view which clearly showed the long beak and appendage protruding from the back of its head . . .

From Chapter Two

As explained in detail in recent editions of Searching for Ropens and Finding God, eyewitnesses of these apparent modern pterosaurs give a wide range of wingspan estimates, partly because the animals that fly overhead vary in size; they’re unlike birds that quickly attain a maximum adult size. But you need to know of the larger flying creatures reported by people, to be prepared for what we’ve learned about the Ptp photo.

From Chapter Seven

In other words, the skeptics cannot reasonably claim that the Ptp photo is an attack against science, so I can ask that you now become a member of the jury and come to a decision based upon the preponderance of the evidence, as you would in a civil court case.

The main evidence used by the plaintiff against the authenticity of Ptp appears to be that Photoshop was used in its creation, implying that no extant pterosaur was ever involved. The first phase of testimonies has concluded with me and Tom Payne giving a limited declaration of certainty regarding when we first saw Ptp. The opposing attorney can ridicule our lack of certainty, in the closing arguments, but that is not to be taken as evidence: The jury can consider it or not but must decide the case on preponderance of evidence. Notice the weakness we now see in the plaintiff’s side: No evidence is given that Ptp came into existence after the creation of Photoshop.

"Modern Pterosaurs" nonfiction book by Whitcomb

Modern Pterosaurs (nonfiction)


copyright 2017 Jonathan Whitcomb


The American Civil War Ptp Pterosaur Photo

What a controversy this old photograph seems to be stirring up! I’m talking about the photo with six soldiers standing over what appears to be a recently shot Pteranodon, what many Americans would call “pterodactyl.”


Introduction to the old photograph “Ptp”

Clifford Paiva (physicist) and Jonathan Whitcomb declare that this is a genuine photograph with a real animal that is obviously an extant pterosaur. The head strongly suggests it was something like a Pteranodon.


Civil War Pterodactyl Photo

The dead flying creature seen in the “Pteranodon photograph,” (Ptp) although it may be called a “pterodactyl” by some Americans and a “ropen” by others, could be a pterodactyloid pterosaur, possibly without the long tail that ropens are seen to have.


Civil Pterosaur Photograph

I wrote about this old photograph here on Modern Pterosaur four years ago. I’ve learned much more about this “Pteranodon photograph,” however, in recent days, especially from communicating with Clifford Paiva, a missile defense physicist.


Pterosaur Photo (examined by Paiva and Whitcomb)

This [book] is an evaluation of the photograph we call Ptp, along with reports of human encounters with similar flying creatures around the world.


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Beat That Kid in Chess

From the Introduction

If you know the chess rules but almost nothing about how to win, this book is for you. . . . You might even win somebody’s admiration, after you apply what you learn in these chapters. . . . This book can take you into a level [helping] you defeat many beginners, at least sometimes. . . . you will no longer be a raw beginner and will instead be able to defeat [chess novices], at least more often than you lose.


best chess book for beginners


From Chapter One

What’s the most important thing to see in chess? See how to get an immediate checkmate. . . . Imagine it’s white’s turn to move [in Diagram-1]. The queen moves to the g7 square, capturing that black pawn in front of the black king. . . . checkmate.

From Chapter Two

. . . you may soon become a more challenging competitor to other beginners, after you have mastered the previous chapter and this one.

Chapter Three

Have you ever been checkmated soon after the game got started? This chapter will show you how to avoid getting knocked out early.

Chapter Four

When you create a knight fork, two enemy pieces (at least) are attaked by your knight. Normally neither enemy pieces is itself a knight . . .

From the Back Cover of the Chess Book

Do you know the rules but almost nothing more about chess? This is the best book for the early beginner. Whatever your age, feel your understanding grow as you learn to checkmate and also learn to gain many advantages . . .


Beat That Kid in Chess


Beat That Kid in Chess

194 pages – paperback – 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches

Published September 2, 2015 by Createspace (self-publishing)

ISBN-10: 1508856222     ISBN-13: 978-1508856221

Suggested Retail  $13.40



Chess Books Reviewed

The purpose is clear: to help the early beginner to learn to win one or more games of chess against another beginner.

Chess Book for Beginners

[Regarding mental exercise] ‘Beat That Kid in Chess’ is for the early-beginner, the person who gains the most relative benefit from chess experience.

Book by Stephen R. Covey

To obtain any significant benefit from reading this book, you will need to focus on changing your personal paradigms . . .

Beat That Kid in Chess

For the raw beginner who knows the rules but little else about chess . . . The book you really need to quickly prepare to win chess games


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Searching for Ropens and Finding God

This nonfiction will take you on an expedition in search of gigantic modern pterosaurs, what ancient people and present-day natives call “dragons.” Don’t expect photographs of living pterodactyls in this paperback, however, for the author failed to see the flying creature. He did discover, however, the amazing credibility of both natives and non-natives, eyewitnesses who simply reported to him what they had encountered.

Searching for Ropens and Finding God, in the fourth edition, may help you to believe as you once did: believing in something that you cannot see except through the words of those who have seen. Be prepared to finish this book with a startling new belief in something that many western scientists had assumed only possible in a fairy tale: huge flying dragons that appear to be nothing other than modern long-tailed pterosaurs . . . but much bigger than any fossil of a Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur.

From Chapter Thirteen

We rested while someone went for Gideon. These curious villagers rarely see a Western visitor: probably their first encounter with a ropen hunter. A papaya, plate, and knife were handed to me, and as they gathered around to watch, I delayed videotaping, for they needed to see how an American, after little breakfast, eats a papaya lunch. . . .

The videotaped interview began with a formal posture, as I chose the side of a house for a background, and though Gideon had no warning we were coming, he was comfortable. The natural lighting was acceptable. The village became quiet. . . .

I started with the basics: “Your name is Gideon Koro?”


“OK. Do you remember, Gideon, about a few years ago, some Americans came with Jim Blume?”

Gideon looked puzzled. I said, “They had a video camera.”

“Yeah.” . . .

“When you got to the lake . . . . Did you see anything unusual?”

. . . “A few minutes later, it came down.” . . .

“Did you notice . . . did it have wings?”

With a smile, Gideon said, “Yeah.”

“It had wings. OK. About how large were the wings . . .”

Gideon said, “Sefan meeta.” . . .

“Seven meters? OK. This animal . . . you call it a ropen? Is that the name they have for it?”


. . . When I asked about feathers, he gave me the puzzled look.

“There’s no feathers.”

fourth edition of the nonfiction paperback book by Whitcomb

Searching for Ropens and Finding God – fourth edition – by Jonathan Whitcomb

360 pages – paperback – 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches

Published October 31, 2014 by Createspace (self-publishing)

ISBN-10: 1502865521       ISBN-13: 978-1502865526

Amazon sale price (early January 27, 2015): $15.75




Pterosaur Extinction

“Almost all biologists, from then until now, have assumed all species of pterosaurs became extinct, for those humans apparently knew nothing of anything like them in the modern world. Paleontologists are even more rare than eyewitnesses of ropens, and if one fossil expert saw one dragon fly overhead, how could the encounter be reported?”

Fourth edition of nonfiction ropen book

In the summer of 2007, in clear daylight, a giant ropen appeared to be chasing a flock of birds over a wildlife sanctuary near the University of California at Irvine. That may relate to the two “dragons” reported in California newspapers in 1891, creatures that were also called “pterodactyls.” They were reported to have devoured mudhens in a pond “at two or three champs of the jaws.”

New Book on Living Pterodactyls

Searching for Ropens and Finding God says little about religion but a lot about how persons of various faiths have contributed to the early stages of a wonderful scientific discovery: modern non-extinct pterosaurs.


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Star Wars Character Encyclopedia

From an Amazon review by DesP

This was a surprise gift to my 6 year old son, who’s a new fan after watching the 6 movies. He simply loved it!

From an Amazon review by michael24p

My kids love this book. They are finally old enough to watch the Star Wars movies and are fascinated with the characters. This book goes great with the movies and encourages reading.

From an Amazon review by Jessica S.

Gave this to my 8 year old nephew for Christmas. He thoroughly enjoyed reading through the whole thing. That’s all he did for days before finishing it. He said thank you over and over again because it was great for a kid who loves watching Star Wars to finally have all the character’s names and histories written down for him; he said it opened his eyes on how to spell and pronounce some of the obscure character’s names. Great book!

From an Amazon review by Cynthia McArthur

I bought this book for my 6 year old son, who is obsessed with Star Wars. He has read it cover to cover multiple times. Whoever compiled this encyclopedia really put some thought into the details. It was also informative to me, as an adult who is just becoming acquainted with the world of Star Wars.

From an Amazon review by Ashley

Love this book. Bought it for my 4 year old son who is just starting to get into Star Wars and seems to have questions about all the characters. This book breaks everything down. Has great pictures and answers all those questions!!! Its hard to say who likes it more, my husband or son!



Picture book for children - Star Wars Character Encyclopedia - featuring 200+ heroes, villains and many more

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia

Be Aware:

This book gives overviews of the Star Wars characters; it does not itself contain any of the six stories made famous in those science fiction films.

Sample from the book:

Mace Windu

Legendary Jedi master

Mace Windu is a senior member of the Jedi High Council. His wisdom and combat prowess are legendary. Windu is somber and cool minded, but he is also capable of dramatic actions in the face of danger.


Science fiction for children, all ages of Star Wars fans, film, picture book

Amazon ranking, May 15, 2013: #3

ISBN-13: 978-0756682538

$16.99 list; hardcover; 208 pages

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Maze Runner (first of a series)

From an Amazon review by “Bookie At Heart”

Talk about adventure, intrigue, twists and turns! James Dashner has it all in The Maze Runner (Book 1)! They sold this book to me as a perfect companion to The Hunger Games and Divergent…let me start by saying, these books are not the same in my mind, but that is not to say anything negative about The Maze Runner. It is still an amazing book that brings to life a new world that has yet to be discovered.

Maze Runner, follows Thomas, a young boy that finds himself awakening with no memories beyond his own name, in an elevator and opening up to a group of rugged boys that have been living in “the glade” for the past 2 years searching for a way out of the maze that surrounds their safe compound all while avoiding the scary Griever monsters who constantly chase the boys. Will they find a way out with the help of bright, Thomas? What of this new mysterious girl, Teresa, who arrives in a coma and looks familiar to Thomas? With twists and turns in this trilling book it’s sure to keep you interested and on your toes.

From an Amazon review by Lance Charnes

The Maze Runner is like black ice — very slick and fast, but not very deep. Dashner’s narrative moves like a rocket; the short chapters click past in a blur. If you think of it as Lord of the Flies meets Escape from Colditz with the Nazis replaced by giant mechanical killer maggots, you’ll be in the right neighborhood.

Dashner’s world — the Glade and the surrounding Maze — is easy to visualize and follows its own (rather twisted) logic, an accomplishment alternative-world stories don’t always manage. Like Thomas, the POV character, you’re expected to suspend disbelief in a major way through the first few chapters, but after that everything follows the foundation laid down at the beginning.

Young male readers will likely enjoy bashing through an entire YA novel that doesn’t involve a romance or revolve around the hero trying to get the girl. The Glade is an entirely male world: fifty teenaged boys and one girl who comes late to the party (and doesn’t get a great deal to do). Thomas aside, about half a dozen of the boys become actual characters while the rest serve as red shirts to be killed in suitably ghastly ways. None of the major characters travel through much of an arc. The story, much like the Maze itself, exists to pose problems for the characters rather than to make them grow. It does this in a highly efficient manner at breakneck speed, leaving you hanging at the end of every chapter, and it’s entertaining to watch the characters try to figure it out. The dialog is generally credible for the milieu and characters, if rather more PG than the R you’d expect from the circumstances. You may even become attached to a couple of the boys. . . .


Teen science fiction - "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Be Aware:

This science fiction novel for teens is mostly about boys, and death is almost common.

Sample from the book:

Harsh sounds of chains and pulleys, like the workings of an ancient steel factory, echoed through the room, bouncing off the walls with a hallow, tinny whine. The lightless elevator swayed back and forth as it ascended, turning the boy’s stomach sour with nausea; a smell like burnt oil invaded his senses, making him feel worse. He wanted to cry, but no tears came; he could only sit there, alone, waiting.

My name is Thomas, he thought.

That . . . that was the only thing he could remember about his life.

Fantasy world, teen science fiction, male-young-adult novel

Amazon ranking, May 13, 2013: #690

ISBN-13: 978-0385737951

$9.99 list; paperback; 400 pages

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